Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Biking on Sunday

Tony took Maiya for a long bike ride Sunday. I caught the tail end of it.

She can move pretty quick for a girl on a rickety little $5 bike.
I was hoping for a little post-ride interview, but as you can see, she wasn't so interested. Next time I'll try not to shadow the subject when filming. D'oh!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Honoring Mr. Kobashigawa

When I started dating Tony in 1995, he was renting a cute little guest house behind Dick and Sumiye Kobashigawa's house in West LA. In fact, just prior to our first date, Tony organized a viewing of Mr. Kobashigawa's home movies, which I attended. In addition to being an activist and a poet, Mr. Kobashigawa was a gardener like many of his generation. Tony once joined him on his gardening route to learn more about Japanese gardening. In 1996, the Kobashigawa's sold their house where they had lived for 50 years and moved to San Francisco.

Here is Tony visiting with the Kobashigawa's at their home in San Francisco in February 1997. Now, 11 years later, the Southern California Library will be honoring Mr. Kobashigawa for his work as an Okinawan American activist. We're looking forward to seeing Mr. Kobashigawa again next weekend.

Celebration honoring Mr. Dick Jiro Kobashigawa
Okinawan American Activist for Peace & Justice

Southern California Library's Wall of Honor

Saturday, May 31, 2 p.m.

With tributes by Professor Ben Kobashigawa of San Francisco State University, Yuko Yamauchi of the Okinawan Association of America, activist and high school teacher Tony Osumi, and Glenn Omatsu of
library's board of directors. Plus cultural/musical performance

Mr. Dick Jiro Kobashigawa is a long-time activist in the Okinawan, Japanese American, and broader progressive movement in Los Angeles. He was born in 1914 in Phoenix, Arizona, and currently lives in San
Francisco. Through Okinawan immigrant organizations from the 1930s to the 1970s, he joined with others to promote peace and justice in the U.S. and Japan, worker rights for immigrants, and political awareness through cultural activities.

From the 1970s till today, he has served as a bridge-builder between generations of older and younger activists, providing leadership in community groups such as Japanese Welfare Rights Organization in Little Tokyo. Mr. Kobashigawa and other leaders of the Okinawan Club of America were instrumental in having the UCLA Asian American Studies Center publish in 1989 an English language version of the book "History of the Okinawans in North America." The volume is one of the few collections of translated primary documents of community organizing activities in an early Asian immigrant community and focuses on the key role of the Okinawan immigrant Left in influencing political development of Asian Americans. Mr. Kobashigawa has also written several short books, including "Hitomebore" (Love at First Sight -- published in both Japanese and English), "Scotland no tabi" (Journey -- published in Japanese), and "Serenity in Gardens," which incorporates some stories about the Issei Left.

The Southern California Library was originally founded by Los Angeles activists in 1963 as an archive to document the history of grassroots movements and in recent years has expanded its mission to serve as a
social justice resource center for movements for peace and justice today. The library's Wall of Honor celebrates the accomplishments of long-time activists. Mr. Kobashigawa will become the 272nd activist
honored on the Wall of Honor.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Go Green with Nishi Center

As a fundraiser for Maiya's preschool, we are selling reusable bags with a unique wide bottom, bit enough to hold 30-35 pounds, or 2 gallons of milk. In the US, we use 100 billion plastic bags a year, and less than 1% are recycled. And paper bags require 4 times as much energy to produce than plastic.

The preschool has been raising money for several years to purchase a play structure and proceeds will help to purchase a shade cover for the new play structure. These bags will be on sale for the next 2 weeks. If you buy one of these bags, which say "Go Green with Nishi Center," then you can carry it knowing that you are helping the environment and giving the kids a comfortable play environment, which is critical to early childhood development and learning.

So, say "no" to paper or plastic bags next time you go to the store. The reusable bags are only $3 each. How many bags would you like to buy?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

La Vida Sake

I'm selling raffle tickets and general admission tickets for a Benefit Fundraiser for Little Tokyo Service Center. You can see the La Vida Lowrider exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Thursday, May 22, 2008
VIP Reception ($100), 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm SOLD OUT
General Admission ($60), 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Enjoy a unique evening featuring a palette of sake from around the world and hors d'oeuvres from LA’s top restaurants. As you cruise the various stations, sake experts will be on hand to provide education on sake and food pairings.

Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
at Wilshire and Fairfax

For Tickets and more info visit: www.LTSC.org/sake

Here are some great blogs about the event:



Friday, May 09, 2008

Brunch n' Play

Our friends Mike, Laura, Amani & Lela came over for breakfast last weekend. It's been way too long since we got together. We had so much fun! The kids started out with the musical instruments, and then moved outside to Maiya's playhouse while we were making breakfast. Then we ate...

After breakfast, Maiya & Amani moved on to Playdoh animals.

Then we switched to finger painting and sponge painting.

Then we had to clean up the mess by hosing down the kids...

Then we had to fill up the swimming pool and jump in that for awhile.

A fun time was had by all. Especially the 4 & under crowd.
It was great to see everyone having such a good time.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day 2008

I picked up Maiya from preschool today, told her we were going to a rally, and that we were walking there. We walked through J-town, past City Hall, and to the May Day rally for immigrant rights. We didn't go last year, but we did go 2 years ago (click May Day below) to the march and rally through downtown, to MacArthur Park and down Wilshire to Koreatown when there were over 600,000 people, which no one in the media talks about this year. This year was much smaller, although we did get there after the 4 marches were over, and the rally was pretty quiet with just a few hundred people milling around in the intersection. The police were present on horses, on bicycles wearing short pants and helmets, and on foot wearing LAPD windbreakers and blue jeans.

That's City Hall in the background.
(Tony would have gotten it in the frame.)

Guess which 3 year old took this picture?
(This is the best of 20 shots.)

The sign says, "A WORKER
- grows food
- teaches children
- builds houses
- makes clothes
...and so much more."

Flag-waving American Girl

This photo was taken by an LA Times photographer on our camera.
He took some pictures of us, and got our names.

After all that walking to get there, we only stayed about 10 minutes, and then walked back to the office, a total of 13 blocks, some short, some long. We were thirsty when we got back. The main thing is that we went, and Maiya gets the message that going to rallies and supporting the struggle for immigrants and workers' rights is important.

Visiting Baby Gavin

Maiya, my mom and I spent a casual afternoon with Kaz, Baby Gavin and Skyler. 2-month old Baby Gavin didn't cry all afternoon, and we were there for over 5 hours. Maiya and Sklyer played together all afternoon, it was very cute to watch them playing together and with the dogs. Afterwards, we went to my mom & dad's for dinner. Maiya got a nice bath, toothbrushing and a blow dry from Grandma Machi before we went home.